Second Annual Boston Women’s Venture Capital Summit Brings Huge Results
Sold-out event succeeds in connecting women to capital featuring 27 speakers and 30+ startups - several leaving with term sheets
BOSTON, May 12, 2016 – Capital W, the Boston Women’s Venture Capital Summit, founded by investor and Boston businesswoman Sheryl Marshall, in partnership with the Center for Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership at Babson College, held its second annual event on Friday, May 6 at Boston’s District Hall. The sold-out event was chock-full of dynamic speakers, pitch sessions and networking between local venture capitalists and female entrepreneurs.
With 27 distinguished speakers, including Babson College President Kerry Healey, Uber's East Coast General Manager Meghan Joyce and Host of Innovation Hub at WGBH Radio Kara Miller, attendees heard expert analysis on the current state of venture capital today for women entrepreneurs. Eleven of the women entrepreneurs in attendance took the stage to pitch their startups to a panel of local venture capitalists, and more than two dozen participated in the speed pitching sessions. As a result of the conference, five companies received term sheets and two are in due diligence.
"We are beyond excited at the success of the second annual Capital W event. The energy in the room was contagious and we thank our sponsors for helping make it possible," said Marshall. "Our mission is to solve the last-mile problem that female entrepreneurs often face, by connecting them with venture capitalists. This year's event did just that and then some. After hearing several companies actually left the conference with commitments underscores the huge need for this kind of event, and I'm thrilled to be part of it."
The second annual Ada Lovelace Award, recognizing organizations in the area that have done the most to contribute to the advancement of women entrepreneurs, was presented to Zaffre Investments at the event. Zaffre is the investment arm of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, and 60 percent of its portfolio companies are led or were co-founded by women. The award is named for Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer and author of the first algorithm intended to be executed by a machine.
“Supporting diversity is in our DNA, and having people with different backgrounds brings more ideas and perspectives to the table,” said Leah O'Donnell, managing director, Zaffre Investments. “We’re honored to have our efforts recognized with the Ada Lovelace Award, and we look forward to continuing to build and grow a portfolio of companies that reflect the entire community of entrepreneurs.”
Event sponsors included Uber, SoulCycle, Couture Planet, SheStarts, Gesmer Updegrove, General Catalyst, Bain Capital Ventures, Atlas Venture, Women Entrepreneurs Boston (WE BOS), Cross Harbor Capital Partners, Flybridge Capital Partners, Brandeis International Business School, John Landry, Version 2.0 Communications and the Boston Globe.
About Capital W, the Boston Women’s Venture Capital Summit
Motivated by research from Babson College’s Diana Project, Capital W is a one-day event founded by investor and Boston businesswoman Sheryl Marshall that will bring together local women entrepreneurs and members of the investment community to address the current funding gap for women-owned businesses. Capital W will feature presentations from successful CEOs and venture capitalists about their business journeys and viewpoints on women in the industry, as well as interactive pitching workshops and on-site coaching. Sponsors include Bain Capital Ventures, General Catalyst Partners, CrossHarbor Capital Partners, Vistaprint, Silicon Valley Bank and Babson College.
About the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership at Babson College
Founded in 2000, the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership at Babson College (CWEL) fulfills and extends Babson’s mission by educating, inspiring, and empowering women entrepreneurial leaders to reach their full potential to create economic and social value for themselves, their organizations, and society. The Center does this through innovative education programs, events, and by supporting and widely disseminating research about the unique skills and experiences of women entrepreneurial leaders. Additionally, CWEL supports and advances gender equality as a growth strategy for individuals and for organizations of all sizes, everywhere in the world. For more information, visit
Version 2.0 Communications